Why is Identity Access Management important?
Unauthorized access to your network, devices or data, is a potentially major problem for organisations. The consequences for those whose estate is comprised can include the loss of valuable data, breaches in GDPR, identity theft, or even fraud. One of the more common ways data breaches occur is by guessing passwords. If users set simple passwords, or, (heaven forbid), use the same password for multiple resource access, then they are an easy target for hackers.
But with setting complex passwords for each platform and application, comes a lot to remember. You definitely don’t want your users writing all their passwords down, so what’s the solution?
Educating users on the standard for passwords, or even implementing a password policy, is a sure way to increase mindfulness around adequate password protection. There are many ways of managing adequate security levels and user accessibility. Here, at 848, we use and provide a number of Identity and Access Management (IAM) platforms consisting of password managers, multi-factor authentication methods and data protection services. These empower our users and clients to manage and maintain a protected and compliant IT estate. I’ve currently been working on implementing IAM for a large UK airport group, we’ve focussed on two key areas to enhance and compliant the clients existing security measures and processes. The solutions we’ve onboarded are Self-Service Password Reset, and Single Sign-on.
Self-Service Password Reset:
The most common call received by an IT Service Desk is for a password reset. Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) is a Microsoft feature that allows the end-user to securely reset or unlock their own network account without the need to contact IT support.
There are a number of financial benefits when implementing SSPR. Users have 24/7 accessibility to changing passwords and unlocking accounts whenever is required. Self-Service Password Reset applies to multiple devices. It can be executed on any company computer, any device using web portals, or on a mobile app for smartphones.
The reduction of calls to the IT Service Desk allows both the end-user and IT Support to concentrate on higher priority tasks and increases productivity. The gains in efficiency greatly compliment the savings that can be made in opting for user effectiveness and motivation. Self-Service Password Reset can also be implemented alongside Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which increases security and prevents unauthorised access to company data.
Single Sign-On (SSO) enables the end user to securely authenticate with multiple web-based business applications using only one set of credentials – their network account. Businesses use multiple web-based applications. The typical experience for the end-user when accessing these web-based systems will be that they have an individual login for each business application and often different applications have different password complexity requirements which usually means that end users have to remember multiple passwords for different systems and often forget the passwords or worse, write the passwords down which then becomes a security risk. Single Sign-On changes the user’s experience as once they are signed into their network account on their desktop or laptop, they would launch the business application and instead of being prompted to sign in to the application they would automatically be authenticated, bypassing the login prompt. Along with Self Service Password Reset, SSO also reduces the need to call the IT Service Desk for a password reset and therefore saves both the end user and IT Service Desk time which can be best spent elsewhere.
It’s clear that single sign-on offers a rich user experience, boosts productivity and generates cost-saving benefits. By implementing IAM as a unified solution, you can increase business security, compliance and agility while offering a streamlined, convenient and protected experience.
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